Australia vs India 2020-21: India Are 36/1 At Stumps On Day 1 After Bundling Out Australia For 195
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Australia vs India 2020-21: India Are 36/1 At Stumps On Day 1 After Bundling Out Australia For 195

Ajinkya Rahane, World Cup
Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credit: Google)

India bundled out Australia for 195 in 72.3 overs in the first innings of Boxing Day Test as Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah were among the wickets picking 3 and 4 scalps respectively. Ajinkya Rahane used 13 overs of spin in the 1st session as there was some moisture on the pitch at MCG.

India picked three wickets in the morning session of the Boxing Day Test as Ashwin dismissed Steve Smith for a duck after getting Matthew Wade for 30. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah had struck early to remove Australia opener Joe Burns for a duck after the host captain Tim Paine won the toss and opted to bat first.

India's Pacer Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

India’s Stand-In Skipper Ajinkya Rahane Brings Spinner To Utilize Moisture On Grass Rich Melbourne

Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath was full of praise for Ajinkya Rahane’s captaincy, saying the stand-in skipper backed his bowlers in the morning session of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne on Saturday.

India went into the break at Lunch in the driver’s seat as they had Australia in a spot of bother at 65 for 3. Jasprit Bumrah got the early breakthrough for India getting opener Joe Burns out without scoring as early as the 5th over with a beauty that just left the right-hander and carried to wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant.

Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ravichandran Ashwin. Image Credit: Twitter.

Instead of going to the debutant fast bowler Mohammed Siraj as the first change, Ajinkya Rahane brought in his off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as the first change as early as the 11th over. It was a surprise call but the captain had pointed out at the toss there was a bit of moisture on the grass-rich MCG wicket in the morning.

Ravichandran Ashwin repaid the faith his captain had in him by picking up the wickets of Matthew Wade and Steve Smith. While Matthew Wade top-edged a ball on 30 while coming down the wicket, Steve Smith’s wicket was well planned with good field placement as he edged one to the leg-gully without opening his account.

Glenn McGrath And Ajay Jadeja Praise Ajinkya Rahane’s Captaincy Tactics

Ajinkya Rahane made sure India bowled 13 overs of spin out of the total 27 bowled in the morning session as he got Ravindra Jadeja to bowl in tandem with Ravichandran Ashwin before the break. Ravichandran Ashwin nearly had another wicket but a good DRS review call from Marnus Labuschagne helped the Australia star survive an on-field LBW decision in the final over of the 1st session.

“I thought Rahane did a good job. Backed his bowlers. He had four slips and a gully at one point. Once Smith came out, he kept the pressure by bringing back Bumrah. I thought his captaincy has been very good,” Glenn McGrath told Sony Six.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo by Sudhanshu Malhotra/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, former India batsman Ajay Jadeja pointed out that India’s bowling did not follow a set pattern and Ajinkya Rahane reaped the rewards for his decision-making in the first session of the 2nd Test as he felt Ajinkya Rahane preferred spinners to use moisture of pitch.

“It was obvious that he started with Bumrah. But when Ashwin got Smith, it was interesting to see Rahane carrying on to attack. Generally, you see India’s bowling attacks have a pattern, but today, there was not a pattern. Normally, on the first day of a Test match, you don’t normally see 9 overs (13) from spinners. It wasn’t just from one end, it was from the other end. He preferred his spinners to use the moisture that existed before lunch. That’s a call he made and it was successful,” Jadeja said.

As former Australian Allan Border pointed out, it was a good fightback from India after the horrors of the Adelaide Test wherein the visitors were bundled out registering their lowest Test score of 36 in the 2nd innings before succumbing to an 8-wicket defeat.

At stumps following the end of 1st day’s play, India trail by 159 runs as they are 36-1 with Shubman Gill unbeaten on 28. Australia managed 195 with Jasprit Bumrah picking 4 wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin picked 3 wickets. Debutant Mohammed Siraj picked 2 wickets including the prized scalp of Marnus Labuschagne who top-scored with 48.